Illuminate the World!

“…stories changed my world for the better.”

I would never have imagined that stories can change the world.

 

As a child I loved walking around the corner to visit my grandparents.  I came from a broken family and it was my grandmother who brought laughter into my life with the stories she told about herself and the crazy things that happened to her.

Looking back, I realize that those stories did much to bring joy and feelings of connection into my troubled upbringing.  She regaled us with true tales of how she accidentally stole another shopper’s car from our local supermarket, how there was ice on her back porch on a 90 degree summer night and when she called the police about the “wolf” in the postage-stamp size backyard.

Those stories changed my world for the better.

After graduating college, I became the youngest president and then producer of a Philadelphia-based Gilbert & Sullivan opera company.  The years spent with them in managing hundreds of volunteers and producing shows eventually led me to create my own local live theater, Celebration Theater.  (And what is theater but stories acted out?)

That got the attention of key decision makers in Philadelphia’s historic district, who, in 2004, had been tasked by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to create an innovative kind of storytelling project. This was before the storytelling wave had begun, so we were doing pioneering work.

I became their first Artistic Director, and helped conceive and direct many of their visitor experiences, especially the Once Upon A Nation storytelling program. This award-wining visitor attraction, active to this day, makes American history come engagingly alive through the power of story.  During my years there, I trained hundreds of storytellers and observed first-hand thousands of visitor reactions to stories we told – and made note of what worked and what didn’t.

It was right after we launched the project in 2005.  We were having our weekly staff meeting and an email had just come in from an eight-year old boy who had visited Philadelphia and heard one of our stories.  “Before doing Once Upon A Nation storytelling, I hated history, but now I’m pretending to be a Quaker spy with my sister in our swimming pool…and now I love history!”

 

Not quite historically accurate, but this young boy had heard a true story which triggered his creative imagination.

His world was changed for the better.

I became convinced that stories uniquely build powerful emotional connections, make dry topics engaging and taps primal parts of our brain to paint pictures, establish rapport and inspire others to take action.

I’ve since worked with all kinds of companies, leaders and entrepreneurs, sharing what I’ve learned over the years.  I love helping people like you figure out how to tell your stories, whether in speeches, trainings or TEDx talks.

Yep, stories have the power to change the world for the better.

How about yours?

Bio

Geoffrey Berwind is one of the foremost experts on how to use the power of story to make beneficial connections with your clients, team, and audiences.  If you want to have more impact and influence in all parts of your life – especially when making a presentation, you’re in the right place!

Geoffrey’s interest in story telling began in 1999 when he founded and ran an innovative theater in suburban Philadelphia.  Five years later, this led to an invitation to join the leadership team tasked with creating the award-winning Once Upon a Nation storytelling project in downtown Philadelphia.  Geoffrey was their first Artistic and Storytelling Director responsible for training numerous front-line staff about how to tell American history in new and engaging ways – through storytelling!

During his seven years with Historic Philadelphia, Geoffrey witnessed the enthusiastic reaction by thousands of tourists who raved about his positive approach.  What he learned in the trenches honed Geoffrey’s techniques and principles about what makes a real-life story work best.  To quote Geoffrey, “if you can use storytelling to make a dull topic like history exciting, then almost any topic can be more engaging through effective story use!”

Geoffrey has coached thousands of authors, business owners and speakers and also provides workshops, speeches and training nationwide.  His various clients have included the National Park Service, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Audubon Society, Vanguard Charitable, Bradley Communications and many others.

Geoffrey has also coached numerous speakers to prepare them for their TEDx talks.  On December 21, 2017 (the winter solstice), Geoffrey produced and hosted a new kind of TEDx event called TEDxFireside. This event was themed about how the power of story brings us back to the primal campfire, connects us to each other and illuminates the world – especially in dark times. (TEDxFireside partnered with the fine folks at TEDxWilmington – click here to see more).

If you’re ready to get your messages out to the world in the most authentic, engaging ways possible, contact Geoffrey today.

Mission Statement

“My mission is to help anyone who speaks as part of their career and is trying to make a stronger emotional connection with their audiences, sell more ideas, products and services, and be more in-demand.

I can help because of many years “in the trenches” coaching and training numerous clients (authors, speakers, non-profits, business leaders and their teams) on how to incorporate storytelling in their life, business and communications. I share unique insights and techniques about what I’ve discovered on how best to use stories to be more impactful and memorable.

How I help is through my speaking and workshops, consulting and 1-1 coaching services. I am passionate about teaching my clients how to establish an engaging, heart-to-heart connection with their audiences, be more influential…and even get standing ovations!”